Show Preview | High Road Art Tour

High Road, NM
Various locations, September 20-21, 27-28

Leigh Gusterson, Embudo Spring, acrylic, 24 x 28.

Leigh Gusterson, Embudo Spring, acrylic, 24 x 28.

This story was featured in the September 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

There’s a stretch of road that meanders its way through the mountains from Santa Fe to Taos, NM. It’s called the High Road, a backcountry route through scenic high desert, forests, small farms, and tiny villages. Along the road, artisans of all types make their homes and studios, away from the bustle of the cities, living and working in a secluded, intimate environment. But on the last two weekends of September each year, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the High Road Art Tour encourages visitors to traverse the road and visit the many studios that are open to the public.

This year 42 studios and galleries welcome art appreciators and collectors from all over the country for the 17th annual event. Participants include Sally Delap-John, Jan Quinn, Judith Hert, Charlee Newman, and Donna Caulton. It’s a chance for the artists to showcase their work and for visitors to experience an area of the art world that is full of creativity. “I love this tradition. For me it’s definitely about living it and appreciating it,” participating artist Leigh Gusterson says. “And I think the other artists feel that, too. It’s very remote; it’s isolated, off the beaten path. There are not a lot of distractions, so it’s easy to focus on our work. It’s just a simpler way of life.”

The tour offers a wide variety of subject matter and media, from traditional and representational paintings and sculpture to jewelry and crafts, southwestern furniture, and contemporary depictions of the West. Visitors can also get a sense of the history in the area, as little has changed on the High Road in hundreds of years. With the studios and galleries and just a few new cafés and attractions, it’s a unique experience for the artists who live there, as well as for those who visit. “There is a connection between the artists here, especially those of us who venture out and work to make this community thrive,” Gusterson says. “There is this uprising of the artistic community, which I’m hoping can carry this area through without having to become 
urbanly developed.” —Joe Kovack

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Featured in the September 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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